As we dive into the abyss of the A10 season, we must constantly remind ourselves to fully celebrate each win that we are given from these Dayton Flyers. In previous years, a win was expected, and we counted the days until we could do it again. This season? We put on new pants every night and hope to a higher power that we don’t come home with them soiled at the end of the evening. Where we used to say “Who’s next?” we are now into the territory of “Let’s enjoy this one while it lasts.”
And indeed, the high will last for at least three days. It took until January 9th but your Dayton Flyers have finally secured a road win, the victim on this night would be the TJ Cline-less Spiders of Richmond. The Flyers made another triumphant return to the land of 500, beating UR thanks to some sharp shooting and post play. Let’s dissect briefly: (there’s a quick turnaround this week and this game will soon be forgotten)
Right up there with the Bonaventure game last week, the first half from the Robins Center was the most impressive output of the season from UD. The Flyers went into the half up 12, thanks to Josh Cunningham going 8-for-8 from the field en route to 15 points and the team overall shooting 68%. Had Josh not been plagued by foul trouble in the first, he probably could’ve ended up at, or above, 30. It was simply an offensive half where everyone got a piece of the pie.
There was a Kostas 3 from deep…
— Flyer Faithful (@Flyer_Faithful) January 10, 2018
There were a few nice dishes for easy buckets from DURRELL and Crutch:
— Flyer Faithful (@Flyer_Faithful) January 10, 2018
Hell, the half was so good, even Matej had highlights! I will not let any reader on this website forget the shades-of-Dirk-Nowitzki fade-away he hit with a defender on him in the first half. EASILY, the best sequence of his career in red and blue.
The second half was about what you would expect from the Flyers of this season: they did very little to help their cause (9 second-half turnovers) and let the opponent back in the game when they should’ve been stepping on Richmond…. like you would do to Spiders. (<even I couldn’t pass up that pun)
As it often does, the shooting turned around for Richmond in the second frame and they found themselves down 3 with a few minutes remaining. All night long they would be paced by four guys: De’Monte Buckingham, Khwan Fore, Julius Johnson and Nick Sherod. Collectively the foursome contributed 61 of Richmond’s total 81 points, going 10-for-23 from three. As we have seen countless times this season, Richmond’s game plan involved working the ball quickly causing Dayton to chase for most of the game, which they did, leading to open 3-point buckets. Khwan Fore’s 12 second half points were second only to Dayton’s Trey Landers, who had a hell of a game in his own right.
In the end, Richmond was simply bad enough that the Flyers’ defensive woes didn’t matter and UD could ice the game at the free throw line and grab a quick flight home. UD’s most impressive stat of the day was definitely the 14-for-15 from the FT line, which would have been perfection had Josh Cunningham not missed the last FT he took late in the game.
That should be enough to describe a lethargic Tuesday win in Richmond against the conference’s worst team. Let’s get to those takes and set our sights to the Other Richmond Team on Friday.
If someone finds the former version of Xeyrius Williams that we were once familiar with, please let us know ASAP. X-man saw the floor for 10 minutes, didn’t score, didn’t attempt a shot and turned the ball over twice. Idk, you guys. I just do not know. In the 5 games since his 16-point outburst against St. Mary’s, X-man has broken double digits once. Sad!
John Crosby is John Crosby. By this point in the year, everyone is well aware what we are getting with our boy John: he’s going to give you some valuable minutes where he makes a few plays, and he’s going to give you some less-than-valuable minutes in between. That’s just what it is. He finished with a solid all around effort last night, chipping in 9 points and 2 assists on 30 minutes of honest work.
Kostas continues to be a project-in-the-making for the Dayton Flyers. While the announcers were less than great last night, they did say something that stuck with me when describing Kostas as a guy who has “flashes of potential.” To me, that’s a perfect way to describe the young Greek fellow. Throughout conference play, let’s hope the “flashes” become longer, and more consistent.
Josh Cunningham is still the best player on the team. After last night’s 8-for-8 performance, he is now the 9th most efficient shooter in the country.
The Trey Landers Break-Out Game: All damn season I was waiting for someone, ANYONE, to have a big game other than DURRELL and Josh, and we finally got it from the local boy Landers on Tuesday. My favorite aspect of Trey Landers game is simply the mystery behind it all. Is he a guard? Is he a forward? Why don’t I notice him on defense? Why was he glued to the bench last year?
Part of me wants all these questions to remain completely unanswered while we roll the dice on what version of Trey Landers we get from night to night. One thing is for certain: he is an absolute bowling ball who is most effective when he’s driving right at defenders faces for a bucket. He led the team last night with 38 minutes, giving the Flyers 18 points, 9 boards and 2 assists on 7-for-12 from the floor. Dayton desperately needs more of these efforts from the supporting cast.
So that’s that. A nice win in Richmond to get the Flyers back on track, back to 500, and a little momentum going into the tilt with the Virginia Confederate University Fighting Rams on Friday. In preparation for the game I sat down with our good friend, Mat Shelton-Eide, who is heavily involved in all things VCU, as well as A10Talk.com, to discuss. He’s one of our favorite guys in the conference to talk to, so head on over there if you’re bored before Friday’s game. Mat is always happy to share some insight into the new rivalry, and how things are going in downtown Richmond
Friday night UD Arena will be on the national stage on ESPN2, don’t you dare re-consider being #LOWD now.